Doing the father’s will: their answer

Working-landTheir Answer. The question that Jesus posed is now filled out: the chief priests and elders are required to adjudicate between the two brothers. For “doing the will of” God distinguishes mere profession from active compliance, and so here it suitably distinguishes between the attitudes of the two sons. Jesus’ question thus allows only one reasonable answer, which the Jewish leaders duly provide, but, like David in his response to Nathan’s parable (2 Sam 12:5–7), in so doing they provide Jesus with the ammunition he needs to mount an attack in v. 32 on their own inconsistency. First, however, he spells out its consequences. Continue reading